When Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart squared off
Wednesday, they debated Fox News's journalistic integrity. In the second installment on Thursday,
they ranged more widely and revealed a little more. O'Reilly set up the interview
pretending he was vetting Stewart to be his vice president.
O'REILLY: Let's play a little bit of a scenario. I'm thinking
about running for president.
STEWART: I think that is a really bad idea.
O'REILLY: I want you to be my vice president.
STEWART: I think that's a really bad idea, too.
O'REILLY: ...OK, now, I have to vet you. I'm vetting you on the air.
STEWART: All right.
On Climate Change
O'REILLY: Global warming?
STEWART: What about it?
O'REILLY: All right. You're big on that. You're frightened of it. You want to flee, don't you?
STEWART: Flee what? The earth?
O'REILLY: The planet, yeah.
STEWART: No, I'm OK. I'm OK right now.
O'REILLY: You're OK?
STEWART: Yeah. ... I guess, look, I'm not a scientist. I can only assume common sense, if you burn a lot of stuff and put it in the atmosphere, it means something. ... What it means, I don't know.
O'REILLY: But you believe in global warming, man-made?
STEWART: I have no reason not to.
On Middle East Policy
O'REILLY: All right, let's go to Iran. If you're my VP, I'm going to have to put you in charge of very delicate negotiations. Now Iran's building, you know, nuclear weapons over there. And if they get them, they might give them to some guy named Ahmed, who might take then to them Cleveland and blow everything up. So what are we going to do with that?
STEWART: Well, doesn't Pakistan have a nuclear weapon?
O'REILLY: Yes, they do.
STEWART: Well, couldn't they give it to somebody?
O'REILLY: I don't know. I don't think.
STEWART: Doesn't Russia have nuclear weapons?
O'REILLY: Russia does.
STEWART: Couldn't they give it to somebody?
O'REILLY: They could.
STEWART: The problem isn't the country that gets them. The problem seems to be the weapon. I think the strategy of what we've done and, again, thank you guys for ratcheting up the fear on this.
O'REILLY: You're not afraid that Iran gets a nuclear weapon, and they cause all kinds of havoc.
STEWART: There's a lot of things to be afraid of in the world. I asked a guy.
On Stewart's Identity
O'REILLY: You're a Jewish guy, right?
O'REILLY: You're a Jewish guy?
STEWART: Who told him?
O'REILLY: All right?
STEWART: Son of a (EXPLETIVE). Did you tell him?
O'REILLY: So I believe that the president of Iran..
STEWART: What gave it away? Was it my happy Hanukkah when I walked in?
O'REILLY: I think they.
STEWART: There is a war on Hanukkah in this country, mister!
O'REILLY: I believe the -- Ahmadinejad, you know, he wants to drive you and all the other Jewish people into the sea.
STEWART: So what -- so I cannot control that. I cannot control what those things are.
O'REILLY: So what we can control is we can stop them from having a nuclear weapon.
STEWART: No. Here's the thing. You might be able to stop them from having a nuclear weapon.
STEWART: But as technology grows and becomes more accessible to people, this is going to become an increasingly difficult problem. And here's what he can't do. Here's what we can't do.
O'REILLY: All right, what can't we do?
STEWART: Our strategy for battling terrorism can't be that you overthrow governments and then make the United States military commit 150,000 troops to those lands until they can somehow stabilize the governments.
O'REILLY: I agree with that.
STEWART: ...long enough so that you can prevent 10 people from plotting destruction in a basement. Terrorism.
O'REILLY: It's bankrupting the country.
STEWART: It's bankrupting the country.
Prosecuting the War on Terror
O'REILLY: Yeah. Where -- he should be tried in front of a military tribunal.
STEWART: Now, I'm not against military tribunals.
O'REILLY: You're waffling now. You're in the middle. I need a strong VP.
STEWART: I'm not running with you.
O'REILLY: Oh, you're not?
O'REILLY: You've turned it down already?
STEWART: I'm not running with you.
O'REILLY: Oh, come on.
STEWART: I'm not going to be your VP, because I know what that's going to be. I get one job. And that's to light the White House menorah. Not interested.
O'REILLY: Okay, but look.
STEWART: There are valid concerns.
STEWART: .about trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian
STEWART: But one of the valid concerns isn't that it makes us a terrorist target and that it emboldens the enemy.
O'REILLY: How do you know?
STEWART: Because we're already a terrorist target.
O'REILLY: Okay. That's like saying you got to close Guantanamo, because it's a terrorist recruiting tool. They're already recruiting terrorists.
STEWART: No, I think you're absolutely right.
O'REILLY: That's (INAUDIBLE).
STEWART: I don't think that's why we should close Guantanamo.
O'REILLY: Why should we close it?
STEWART: Because it's limbo.
STEWART: It doesn't fit with the American system of justice.
O'REILLY: It's better to be there than in some penitentiary there.
STEWART: No, it's not.
O'REILLY: I've been there. It is, trust me.
STEWART: No, no, no, I'm saying it's better to have them go through a system where you can go through and methodically show the world that the American judicial system has the integrity to withstand even the most violent creatures.
O'REILLY: Does that include the Crips and the Bloods out in the yard confronting these guys? That's the American justice system inside prison. You know, it, Stewart.
On Sarah Palin
O'REILLY: Okay, finally, Sarah Palin, you've been a little tough on Sarah Palin, haven't you? I mean.
STEWART: No, I don't think so.
O'REILLY: No? You haven't been mocking her?
STEWART: Oh, no, I mock her.
STEWART: Yeah, but I don't think I've been too tough on her.
O'REILLY: No? What other women in politics have you mocked to the extent that you've mocked Sarah Palin?
STEWART: Probably Hillary Clinton.
O'REILLY: Have you mocked Hillary that much?
O'REILLY: Yeah? More than Sarah, the same?
STEWART: Well, Hillary's been around longer, but give Sarah time. I'll get there.
STEWART: Yeah, I'll catch up.
O'REILLY: You like her?
STEWART: I don't know her.
STEWART: I'm not crazy about the whole real America vibe I get from her. That gets under my skin.
O'REILLY: You don't think she's a real American?
STEWART: No, she -- I don't like the whole like there's a real America and then there's the coastal America.
O'REILLY: You don't think there's a difference between San Francisco and Wasilla, Alaska?
STEWART: In terms of?
O'REILLY: In terms of mentality and how you look at life?
STEWART: I think there are individuals with -- let me put it this
way. I don't say that where you live is the factor in deciding who you